Monday, November 30, 2015

Five Books I Want to Read Before 2015 Ends

After spending a large chunk of November in a reading slump, I am anxious to read read read during December and finish up my reading challenge. Typically I do not make a TBR list because I never ever end up sticking to it. However, these are five books I've picked because I'm anxious to pick them up. Hopefully this will help me spend less time deciding what I want to read and more time actually reading. I'll let you know how this works out in just a couple of weeks!

Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ten "Families" I Would Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner

This year I thought it would be fun to imagine a Thanksgiving Dinner Party filled with literary families. Who would I want to spend an evening with eating delicious dinner? I have plenty of families I would love to eat Thanksgiving dinner with or invite them to mine. It is time for Top Ten Tuesday!

1) The Weasleys - Of course I would want to spend Thanksgiving with the Weasleys! Mrs. Weasley would make amazing food and Mr. Weasley would ask hilarious questions about the holiday. Plus all their children and grandchildren would make it a great Thanksgiving meal. Then Mrs. Weasley would spend the whole dinner catching me up on everyone's lives and I would be the happiest clam.

2) The Raven Gang/The Psychics from 300 Fox Way - Maggie Stiefvater write me a Thanksgiving where everyone is alive and happy and where Adam and Ronan start a food fight after everyone has finished.

3) The Merricks -  These brothers would have the coziest Thanksgiving ever. It would be full of food and pranks most likely. I imagine feeding them though would be quite a challenge.

4) Sohma Family - If you've read the Fruit's Basket manga series, you know this gathering would be fraught with hilarious and awkward encounters. In this series members of the Sohma family turn into animals if hugged by someone of the opposite sex. It would be a great meal to say the least.

5) Ross and Demelza Poldark - As I'm typing this I realize most of the families I've named so far are not American and probably do not celebrate Thanksgiving. However, if I could bring Ross to America and show him Thanksgiving I think he would run with it. He is so tried of the British class system I think he would just enjoy the whole thing. Demelza would look amazing as per usual.

6) The New York Institute Gang - This would be hilarious. I want to invite everyone and have big piles of food while Clary tries to explain exactly what Thanksgiving is to the Institute kids or do they celebrate? I can't remember.

7) Camp Half Blood -The sheer amount of food I would need to cook up for all these teenagers would be incredible. I can't imagine! However, I feel like it would be the best Thanksgiving dinner ever. And yes I would build a fire so they can throw some of my hard made food in. I don't want the gods angry with me!

8) The Starks - A holiday scene before the events of the books take place. Anyone else have tears in their eyes?

9) Emi's Family (Everything Leads to You) - There are so many heartwarming moments during the book with Emi's family. Her parents really care about her and I love how present they are compared to other YA Contemporaries. Thanksgiving with them would be a treat.

10) The Lancasters (The Fault in Our Stars) - While Thanksgiving would be a subdued holiday I believe, I would want to invite the Lancasters over to make a meal for them so they can rest. These parents never rest while trying to take care of their sick daughter and guys I just want to meet Hazel!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review - The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)
Series: The Elemental Trilogy #2
Genre: Fantasy
Published – September 2014
Paperback - 414 pgs
Source – Purchased

Rating – 4.5 / 5

After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

The only thing this series lacks is a map. There is amazing magic, a scary tyrant, a prince, mages and so much more but no map. Alas, maps do not make or break fantasy series. 

However, I have no other complaints about this second installment. The tension and twists in this story made it a great second installment. Instead of the Second Book Syndrome a lot of book suffer from, where it seems like all set up for book three, we had major obstacles to over come and the characters had to reexamine themselves. I loved this! It was hard to read at times because I love this couple and their struggles hurt me, but it made the story stand out. This installment was needed and I loved how much more character depth it added.

Here we find I have picked up another book set in the Victorian Age and I cannot help but adore it. Magic in the Victorian Age? I am lost!

I still love the dynamic Thomas creates by traveling between the larger world and the small boarding house. The plot thickens even further, but even as the drama picks up, the action doesn't stop. In this book we are following two timelines and the duel stories really keeps the story moving. I was loath to leave each set of characters and felt both were necessary. It threw me off at first, but it worked very very well.

All of the magic in this book is delightful. The magical creatures alone are incredible.There are wyverns and phoenixes! I love it. Thomas continues to build her world and we travel even farther abroad. I loved the combination between our world and the fantasy elements from the first book and it was as strong in this story. Her world is so seamlessly mixed with ours and I want to live there.

Quick Thoughts: So far this series has really impressed me and I enjoy it immensely. I swoon over the romance and love the surprises around every turn. This series is seriously underrated and I haven't heard anyone rave about it. Go check this series out now! The final book is out now so you can easily binge the entire thing! 

My Last Review: Mini Reviews 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Currently Reading - November

So far this month has not been a good reading month. I haven't been reading a lot because of slumpiness and NaNoWriMo. These are the two books I've been working on recently though.

Books Mentioned:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mini Reviews (2)

This week I'm going to do some mini-reviews! These are books I feel like I don't have enough to say to write a full review. However, I do like to put my thoughts out there for all the books I read. Just because I have a short review for these doesn't mean I don't recommend them! Some of these were really great!
Only Mr. Darcy Will Do
Only Mr Darcy Will Do by Kara Louise  

Synopsis: Mr. Bennett died before Mr. Darcy had the chance to renew his addresses. Elizabeth believes she will never see him again when she becomes a governess for a wealthy family. What happens when their paths cross again? 

My Thoughts: Overall I don't have a lot to say about this one. It was a lovely adaptation with very few issues. The adaptation was straight-forward and an easy read which has now mostly left my brain. The characters' personalities were well represented and the author set up a great romance between Darcy and Elizabeth. I thought some of the dialogue seemed too modern, but overall everything worked and I highly recommend this adaptation. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Seven Movie Adaptations I Need to See

It has been a long time since I listed less than ten for a Top Ten Tuesday, but this week I could not come up with ten book to movie adaptations. I'm sure there are many more. In fact, I have no doubts there are many I am missing. If you have any suggestions for great adaptations or just great movies, please send me recommendations.

1) Mocking Jay (Part 1 ) - I've been thinking about rereading this series. It has been a long time since I read it. Plus I haven't watched the movies recently. I need a refresher.

2) Paper Towns - Why haven't I seen this movie yet? I wanted to see it so badly when it was in theaters but never made it.

3) Divergent and Insurgent - I own Divergent. Why haven't I watched it? Your guess is as good as mine.

4) Beautiful Creatures - Again I have the movie and haven't watched it. I should probably get on that.

5) The Hobbit (Parts 2 &3) - Must see these ASAP.

6) The Other Boleyn Girl - This is one is old. I've wanted to watch it for years. I do want to read the book again before I do though.

7) Vampire Academy - Everyone ragged on this adaptation when it came out but I want to see it so badly. I also need to finish this series.

There are only book to movie adaptations where I have already read the book.


My Last Top Ten Tuesday -----> Top Ten Truly Creepy Reads 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review - Demelza by Winston Graham

Demelza (Poldark, #2)

Series: The Poldark Saga #2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: Pan Macmillan (1946)
Paperback – 538pgs
Source: Purchased

Rating: 4/5

Demelza Carne, the impoverished miner's daughter Ross Poldark rescued from a fairground rabble, is now his wife. But the events of these turbulent years test their marriage and their love.

Demelza's efforts to adapt to the ways of the gentry - and her husband - bring her confusion and heartache, despite her joy in the birth of their first child. Ross begins a bitter struggle for the rights of the mining communities - and sows the seed of an enduring enmity with powerful George Warleggan.

Returning to Cornwall, England and the Poldark family was fabulous. This series combines a bit of everything to make a very captivating story and picture of English country living in the late 1700's. There is romance, family feuds, heartbreak murder and dangerous fever within this novel. Of course, the business ventures are always a possible risk to ruin Ross's future as well.

There are a lot of plot lines within this series so far, but they are well managed and keep the story moving. I am deeply invested in all the characters and I really enjoy reading about the lives of everyone in this community. We meet everyone from the aristocracy to the miners’ families. Some of the language is rough and the dialect can be a bit difficult to understand. I had to read some passages twice to get a firm grip on what the characters were saying.

This is truly Demelza's book from the first page. At the beginning of the series she was a young vagabond, but Demelza has grown into a beautiful lady. She is learning the ways of the landed gentry and the ways of Ross Poldark, which are entirely different as you may remember from book one. She grow, learns and changes, but does not lose her essential character. Her character growth is tremendous throughout this book and she continues to try to help those she loves, but even the best intentions can have dire consequences.

Quick Thoughts: Overall I thought this was a more emotional book. There are many happy moments but the tone is heavier. More is on the line and the characters are all struggling in different ways. The writing is fast paced and very addictive. I have a hard time putting these books down and I’m anxious to get my hands on book three. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October Favorites

This has been a month absolutely full of favorite things! I discovered new things and rediscovered old things that I love. Also after putting together this list, I realized this month has been appropriately dark. It has been fantastic. What are your favorites for the month?

Book Favorite:
When A Madness so Discreet arrived at my house, I couldn't ignore it. I was so drawn to this book and I read through it in a just a few days. This book was a great read and it occupied my thoughts even after I finished the book.


Blog/Video Favorite: 
This month I posted a lot of reviews both for #AllHallowsWeek and for my regular Friday reviews. I had a lot of fun reading all these Spooky Reads for October and I was so pumped for Halloween when it finally arrived. Even so, I think my favorite post from this month was :

Top Ten Wishes I'd Ask the Book Genie For.

This post was so much fun to think about and I enjoyed reading everyone else's ideas. This was a Top Ten Tuesday post and so many other bloggers had great ideas for wishes!

Music Favorite:

Life Favorite:

This month my life favorite is RUNNING. After a few months of pushing myself to exercise, I've finally turned running into a hobby as much as a exercise. I can run a mile in under 10 minutes and I really enjoy doing it. I am as surprised as you that this has come about! 

Movie Favorite:
I loved the book so I had to go see the movie on opening weekend. It was amazing and I want to see it again! If you need more convincing check out my post reviewing the adaptation!

TV Favorite:
This show is so crazy. I cannot stop watching it because every episode is unpredictable and out there! I thought the whole show was about aliens but it has a lot more going on.

 Video Game Favorite:
I haven't played video games in a few months. I love games, but I've been more focused on blogging, reading and binging my favorite TV shows than playing games. However I am really into Dishonored for PS4 right now. I've played this game of PS3 before but I'm enjoying play it on the new system too.

Random Favorite:
Throughout October I've been listening to one of The Great Courses that are available one Audible. Since graduating college, I've missing the classroom/lecture part of college especially my history classes. Most of them are over 24 hours of lectures and I am really enjoying the one I'm listening to about the American Civil War.

It was a fantastic month! Happy Reading!

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Wrap Up (2015)

This month I have two wrap up videos. The first was my Spooky Reads Wrap Up. Today's is the rest of the books I read this month. These are all the books I read unrelated to Halloween and creepy reads.

Book Mentioned: